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Subaru has been recovering nicely from the pandemic and still has low inventory for it's four best selling models: Ascent, Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, and because interest rates in general are low right now, zero interest rate incentives aren't expensive for Subaru, but they don't expect to be offering cash back incentives etc. Subaru relies on having great value in the product, and not base value on discounts. KBB highest resale awards, JD Power loyalty awards, and other awards were mentioned to make the case that it's the product and not the price that makes Subaru successful, and that their ultimate goal is to have loyal customers rather than short term market share gains. Being a small manufacturer also makes Subaru cautious to be looking at the big picture and to be re-investing in future products.

Subaru will be coming out with an electric car in a couple of years, and the obstacle right now is economies of scale - Subaru being a small manufacturer, but it was noted that Subaru customers are more likely to be receptive to electric cars for environmental reasons, and that the Rav4 hybrid outselling pure ICE Rav4 models in the past quarter, shows that there is a market for hybrid and electric cars, as long as the price difference isn't too large.

A subscription model was briefly discussed and in a year or two the idea could be revisited, not so much for existing older and rural customers, but more for urban young customers.

It was noted that Tom Doll was the longest serving CEO of any car company in the USA - and he gives credit to the dealerships, saying "We (SOA) don't sell anything - it's all the dealerships we have to thank"
 

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Brucey
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Subaru has been recovering nicely from the pandemic and still has low inventory for it's four best selling models: Ascent, Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, and because interest rates in general are low right now, zero interest rate incentives aren't expensive for Subaru, but they don't expect to be offering cash back incentives etc. Subaru relies on having great value in the product, and not base value on discounts. KBB highest resale awards, JD Power loyalty awards, and other awards were mentioned to make the case that it's the product and not the price that makes Subaru successful, and that their ultimate goal is to have loyal customers rather than short term market share gains. Being a small manufacturer also makes Subaru cautious to be looking at the big picture and to be re-investing in future products.

Subaru will be coming out with an electric car in a couple of years, and the obstacle right now is economies of scale - Subaru being a small manufacturer, but it was noted that Subaru customers are more likely to be receptive to electric cars for environmental reasons, and that the Rav4 hybrid outselling pure ICE Rav4 models in the past quarter, shows that there is a market for hybrid and electric cars, as long as the price difference isn't too large.

A subscription model was briefly discussed and in a year or two the idea could be revisited, not so much for existing older and rural customers, but more for urban young customers.

It was noted that Tom Doll was the longest serving CEO of any car company in the USA - and he gives credit to the dealerships, saying "We (SOA) don't sell anything - it's all the dealerships we have to thank"
Thanks!

Subaru has a great value on the rest of their line up for sure.

I think it's smart for such a small company to be a little conservative with their growth plan as well.
 

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To me, Doll's long service with the company (38 years) means that his reassignment or retirement are not far off. It seems obvious to me that his successor will almost certainly be tasked with guiding the major changes that will keep the brand up-to-date with the competition, and let's hope allow it to survive with some independence (for example all-electric, up market moves, etc.).

I will fantasize for a minute and suggest that Toyota is too big to go all electric except over decades, and being that big they need to hedge their bets in case the electric thing for some reason flops. But a smaller brand like Subaru could change over faster, and give Toyota a place to sell their electric tech, and recoup their investments. Just a fantasy thought.

I think it was interesting that he noted the importance of the dealer and sales arm, I would say to make dealers comfortable that their needs will be listened to as the big changes go through. I'll also be watching for where Doll's successor comes from, (USA or Japan, Toyota or Subaru) , and from which branch (finance, tech, marketing). I think Doll's background is finance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would like an electric Subaru but once you get rid of the boxer engine and superior mechanical AWD, what will make a Subaru, a Subaru?

The an all-electric AWD car can react faster and with instantaneous torque where it's needed, down to 0 RPM, and virtually transmissionless, so no complexity or concern about dual clutch, CVT, etc. No worries about engine oil and filters, intake valve carbon, etc.

Because of this, Subaru must move towards electric when battery costs drop and full-electric is a viable option for Subaru's demographic. Teslas are right now eating up market share mainly from Mercedes/BMW/Porsche types with higher disposable income, and who care a lot about brand prestige. Even their least expensive vehicle, the Model 3 isn't cheap once you add options (much like BMW/Mercedes/Porsche).

The Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt, don't sell nearly as well (but those are not AWD, not roomy, poor range, and don't offer great dollar value for mainstream buyers). When battery prices drop, this can change. Nissan's next EV, the Ariya will be interesting to watch, but it still starts at 40k.

Another obstacle is that so much of Subaru's in-house engineering and workforce are making the boxer engine, the symmetrical AWD, and the Lineartronic transmission. Getting rid of those will be devastating to much of the Subaru workforce.
 

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I can remember when S. publicity really harped on all the pluses of the boxer. Lower weight and center of gravity, allows easy adaptation to sym. AWD, easy to assemble, and others I can't remember now. But it's been my observation that looking at their ads and other publicity for a few years now, the boxer is hardly mentioned any more and they don't spend as much time as they used to trying to educate their customers about the unique advantages that stem from the boxer-only philosophy. Then there have also been statements in the press IIRC from top engineers in the company, about how we must gradually recognize that Subaru and boxer will not always be intertwined in the future.

Still it must mean something that the Ascent got a boxer, and also IIRC the FA came about by heavy redesign of the FB, with help from Toyota. Also in company politics it must be significant that the Toyota 86 got a boxer engine.

A good way for them to break with the boxer tradition would be to have an electric, or maybe a hybrid where the ICE is not a boxer. They had an electric Kei car a few years back, I don't know what happened to it or if it was mainly an engineering demonstration. In the present, they will be able to lean on all the work Toyota has been doing on electrics, plus they can also claim to be able to add their own valuable input since they have done an electric in the past themselves, and hybrids as well. That's probably important to allow them to maintain pride of identity in whatever change process goes forward.

I think the S. identity will be based more and more, even more than now, on eco, animal, pet, plant, family friendliness. That's what they seem to really push in their ads. I think they are counting on this identity to keep them afloat, as well as their tradition of engineering progress. They can expand that identity without boxer engines. They'll need a strong brand identity to differentiate themselves when every other car maker has a raft of electrics to choose from.

And I am interested to find out who will take over from Tom Doll since I thinlkt he new leader will of necessity bring with him/her a new direction.
 

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The an all-electric AWD car can react faster and with instantaneous torque where it's needed, down to 0 RPM, and virtually transmissionless, so no complexity or concern about dual clutch, CVT, etc. No worries about engine oil and filters, intake valve carbon, etc.
Japanese manufacturers have been doing their homework :) .

I beg to differ...... (when it comes to "all-electric")

What about ALL the batteries?
Are we ready for 100k dead batteries? .....A MONTH??? (future)
Who's gonna deal with this?
 

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I beg to differ...... (when it comes to "all-electric")

What about ALL the batteries?
Are we ready for 100k dead batteries? .....A MONTH??? (future)
Who's gonna deal with this?
489008
 

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I beg to differ...... (when it comes to "all-electric")

What about ALL the batteries?
Are we ready for 100k dead batteries? .....A MONTH???
Who's gonna deal with this?
I used to know an engineer who would gladly debate for hours, that there was no way the reduced gasoline consumption of a hybrid or electric could make up for the environmental damage of securing the raw materials for the batteries and electronics, and of recycling them.

I agreed with him, though his argument sounded similar to an idea I once saw in a story somewhere, written by a guy who was still driving an old Mercedes diesel out in the country, who figured it would be better for the environment if we just kept fixing our old cars forever, instead of going to the effort of making complete new ones.

I have given up taking sides on this. I don’t have the answer. I do think it is interesting that AFAIK no major carmaker has, in the pandemic, given up on their electrification timetable. Seems to be coming one way or the other.
 

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I doubt if that will fix the problem. What, we're gonna use the moon as our NEW trash dump? OK, let's contaminate the solar system, but we're not finished with the Earth yet, eh? We still have room here, right?



)o:
sigh
 

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I have given up taking sides on this. I think it is interesting that AFAIK no major carmaker has, in the pandemic, given up on their electrification timetable. Seems to be coming one way or the other.
I understand, we're still young in this tech.

...and I've heard nothing about any long term plans to deal with the future dead batteries. Anyone here able to educate me? Links to read?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I understand, we're still young in this tech.

...and I've heard nothing about any long term plans to deal with the future dead batteries. Anyone here able to educate me? Links to read?
I'm not educated enough on battery technology to endorse any particular source as unbiased or scientifically accurate, but I found these articles interesting:

In a nutshell, existing EV batteries can be repurposed for stationary energy storage since they're still useful, recycling the raw battery materials is uneconomic (but then again carbon capture is uneconomic).

New battery technology will make the EV battery disposal problem less, but right now we only have a few percent EV adoption so when it becomes 50% the whole landscape will be considerably different.

I think one problem is a lack of standardization for chemistry and configuration, but with rapid developments in battery chemistry it doesn't make sense to standardize it. Newer battery compositions could be less toxic, rely on less exotic and rare difficult to recycle elements, have improved lifespan, capacity, etc.

I wonder if the reason why some manufacturers had been pushing for hydrogen fuel cells was because of the battery disposal issue.


 

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I beg to differ...... (when it comes to "all-electric")

What about ALL the batteries?
Are we ready for 100k dead batteries? .....A MONTH??? (future)
Who's gonna deal with this?
Liquid cooled, properly designed batteries will only lose 1-3% after 100k miles. They only use 80% of the total battery capacity to not overcharge or discharge too far.

My Volt, at 70K has the Sam erange as new. Tires, OTOH, can cause 10% or more difference in electric miles, so no knobbys, roof boxes, if you want range.
 

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In a nutshell, existing EV batteries can be repurposed for stationary energy storage since they're still useful, recycling the raw battery materials is uneconomic (but then again carbon capture is uneconomic).

New battery technology will make the EV battery disposal problem less, but right now we only have a few percent EV adoption so when it becomes 50% the whole landscape will be considerably different.

I think one problem is a lack of standardization for chemistry and configuration, but with rapid developments in battery chemistry it doesn't make sense to standardize it. Newer battery compositions could be less toxic, rely on less exotic and rare difficult to recycle elements, have improved lifespan, capacity, etc.

I wonder if the reason why some manufacturers had been pushing for hydrogen fuel cells was because of the battery disposal issue.


You're always honest, IMPO, so thanks for this....

Weight the cons of batteries and IC engines and I still think it's a bit of a wash. Not all that many pros for either, still a wash if you ask me. No bene to switch and be an ALPHA tester. (Yea, still ALPHA, since it's so young and changing. BETA testing may never happen, new upcoming tech.)

Thinking ahead, I can probably still fix an IC, but finding parts and knowing what to do with them, on MANY of these new cars/trucks/electrics may be quite the challenge... EOTW, "DEALER REQUIRED" and all. Are we all not here to gain knowledge on what we drive so we can (try to) deal with them by ourselves? .....and this is one reason I still own two 198x' Nissan D21's.
K.I.S.S.​


Liquid cooled, properly designed batteries will only lose 1-3% after 100k miles. They only use 80% of the total battery capacity to not overcharge or discharge too far.

My Volt, at 70K has the Sam erange as new. Tires, OTOH, can cause 10% or more difference in electric miles, so no knobbys, roof boxes, if you want range.
So, what's the cost of those "Liquid cooled, properly designed batteries"? What's their life span? (in years?) Only use 20% before a recharge? Seems like a waste if you can't/don't use it to near it's capacity. I can always carry 5gal containers of fuel, on really long runs. 4 of um will get me another 300++ miles.

Just more reasons I'm not sold on batteries. As I've said (in another thread, somewhere), batteries for autos need to have a warrantied life-span of 20+ years, with no loss of current over the span and be cost effective. (not holding my breath) My wifes 08' Civic-H will never pay us back. Batteries, every 5-8 years, are >$2k. Keep this car for 20 years? Not me! 12-13 is enuf, we'll be replacing it with another OBW soon.

I grew up on tech (started in 85') and can tell you that because tech advances so quickly that todays batteries are tomorrow's problems and history. I have a bunch of XT's (8088's) and 286's that have no value, but I can't give them away. Could end up in a museum someday.

Dispose of the batteries, @ true EOL. How many batteries/month? Where? How? This is my argument and I don't think much, if any, thought has been put into the next 20+ years for this issue. Makes me NOT want to contribute to the problem.
 
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